The customer publishing field raises many questions about how brands talk to customers and what format that conversation takes. It is clear that major brands still – even in this digital age – see the value of producing catalogues and magazines, there are many examples available.

Do you think about what that freebie means to you, why do you pick it up? Does it cement your brand loyalty? Customer response is measurable – statistically – but that is just the bottom line, an increase in sales or a reaction to a discount offering. The emotive, visceral response that a customer gets when it picks up a well-designed piece of communication; one that reinforces everything that it already wanted to believe, that is not easily measurable.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with some great brands in the design of customer publishing. It’s an area of design that is fascinating in the different opinions it throws up; it is wholly subjective. Some brands took very different paths to its development as a communication tool. Over the last few years many brands have revisited print, a change of format and a rethink on content can elicit an entirely different response from the customer.